Serial killer and/or crime investigation dramas are far from being in short supply on TV nowadays, yet NBC’s Hannibal has little to no trouble standing out from the rest of the crowd (The Following, Criminal Minds, etc.).

Showrunner Bryan Fuller’s take on the life and times of Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter – drawing from the novel Red Dragon written by Thomas Harris – uses David Lynch-ian nightmare logic in its storytelling. This not only allows the series to restore a genuine sense of pain and trauma back into onscreen deaths (even for a desensitized modern audience that’s grown accustomed to seeing nasty murders on TV) – it also lets Hannibal avoid the trend of sensationalization in the crime and/or procedural genre, which has ensnarled related shows in recent years (Dexter, looking at you).

Consider, for example, the newly-released poster for season 2 of Hannibal. Subtly may not exactly be one of its graces, even when compared to previous one-sheets and promotional images released for the show – and how they use surreal imagery and macabre colors to suggest Lecter’s devilish nature (see: Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Lecter with his “horns” in this article’s header image).

However, assuming that you have been keeping up with the series, then you know that season 1 of Hannibal concluded with FBI “special investigator” Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) becoming more clear-headed (figuratively and literally) than ever – though, at a terrible cost to himself and those around him. In the Hannibal universe, that means Will now recognizes just who is that terrible “Dire Ravenstag” (follow him on Twitter) that’s been “following” him around of late.

See for yourself, in the Hannibal season 2 poster below (via EW):

[Click for Larger Version]

Fuller, who helped to design the poster, said as much in his poster explanation for EW:

“After a horrifying descent into madness in season 1, this image ironically represents the perspective of a scrappier, clearer-minded Will Graham in season 2.  The scales have fallen from his eyes and he finally sees Hannibal Lecter for the monster he is.”

If Hannibal season 1 was the whirlwind romance portion of their relationship, then season 2 is what happens when the honeymoon is over for Will and Hannibal and reality about their respective partner finally starts to sink in. Fuller has spoken in the past about the dynamic between the characters – who, in a sense, represent the ego and superego in conflict with one another – and how Will, from hereon out, may be the one who is drawing Dr. Lecter to his doom (rather that vice versa).

In other words: Satan’s mask has started to fall off – but will that only make him more dangerous than ever he was before?

Hannibal season 2 begins airing on NBC in 2014.

Source: EW